Union leaders today attacked the "stratospheric" level of directors' pay after new research showed that chief executives earned almost 100 times more than other workers.
Pay analysts Incomes Data Services said average earn-ings of top executives had doubled since the year 2000.
The pay of chief executives of the top 100 firms in the country had jumped by 43 per cent from just over £2 million to £2.8 million in the past year alone, said the report.
The earnings included basic wages, long-term incentive payments and gains made from selling share options.
The new figures showed that the country's top 100 company executives now earned 98 times more than all full-time workers, up from 39 at the beginning of the decade.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "It is hard not to conclude that this further huge rise in executive pay is more about greed than performance. No-one should now have any illusions that executive remuneration has been brought under control.
"Giving shareholders a vote on boardroom pay has failed to rein in excess. Remuneration committees have simply found new ways to keep pushing up pay.
"The stratospheric levels of directors' pay compared to average wages mean that executives now live in a class apart, even from employees in their own companies. It is not just socially divisive, but bad for the economy."
John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said it was "essential" to recruit the right people.